After hundreds of product reviews written, I still find that the most difficult ones to to write are for wedges. Why? Well, first because my short game is sometimes a bit suspect. Secondly, I believe people who chip well can chip with a shovel and still get up and down. And finally, wedges have started to come with a whole list of technology like bounce and grind that frankly go over the head for most golfers.
So, with that huge disclaimer, let’s dive into the Renegar wedge review. First off, Renegar is not part of a large golf company. Instead it was founded by one guy named Bob Renegar. Late to the game of golf, Bob started Renegar in 1993. Through the years, the company has gone through a number of design iterations and in the process filed a couple of patents which they believe to be crucial in differentiating their clubs from the pack. Foremost of the design features is the lowered leading edge. This is the part of the club which is closest to the ground at impact. Now for bunker shots, a higher leading edge is fine because the club passes under the ball, but when you are chipping from the ground, a high leading edge can result in the dreaded skulled ball. By lowering the leading edge, the Renegar wedge essentially gives you a touch more forgiveness to reduce the chance of a mis-hit. Hence, the club is just as effective on tight lies as in fluffy bunkers.
The compliment to the leading edge is the bounce. Bounce is what determines how much resistance the club has with the ground or sand. The more bounce the less resistance. Again, in a bunker you typically want a lot of bounce so the club moves through the sand easily. However, when you are playing in varied conditions, hard pan or soft turf, the bounce can have a large effect on how the club reacts to the ground. This is why some players will choose wedges with more or less bounce depending on the conditions.
Where the Renegar wedge design is unique is in the sole because it gives you a number of bounce options based on how you lay the club. This variable bounce feature is created by the UTILITY-patented Sole (the cut-out). At this point my mental capacity becomes a little strained but in layman’s terms you get three bounce ratios in each club. So enough of the techno speak. The Renegar wedges have a few things out of the box that I really liked. First they don’t look like a butter knife that you have to hit perfectly in order to get the ball moving in the right direction. Many of the wedges I have played are so clearly a “pro-club” that they can be a touch intimidating. You know the kind – amazing to look at, nightmare to hit, yea, I got your number buddy.
Because of my inherent “issues with chipping”, for years I chipped primary with my stock PW simply because I was comfortable with the club since it looked like all of my other clubs. I guess my thought was “why hit a club that looks different?” Now clearly I was giving up some control and workability but I was willing to trade that for confidence. As my game improved, I became more comfortable with a more standard 52 or 56 degree wedge but even today I can get a little yippy around the green.
The good news for me is that the Renegar wedge seems more substantial than many other wedges and while I have not weighed it, I would bet it is heavier (at least the clubhead). So for me, the Renegar just feels very natural and comfortable in my hands. Even the muted polish is reminiscent of my irons. Sure, a blinged out wedge looks awesome, but standing over a tricky chip I don’t want to be reminded I am wielding a “specialty club”. In terms of performance, I feel like I get nice spin with all of the wedges. This is in part due to the fact that Renegar mills the grooves right to the USGA boundaries. Again, my short game is not world class but I have really enjoyed using the gap wedge inside of 100 yards. Typically, the 60-80 yard shots are those that require 1/2 or 1/3 swings, but I have found using the 52 degree to be a great option as I can take more of a full swing and get the ball up where in can land softly.
Around the green, the Renegar wedges are fairly easy to use. I definitely think they are more forgiving than some of the more bladier wedges out there. That is not to say you can’t get good touch with them. As a double check, I had two buddies who have great short games chip with the Renegar clubs for 10 or so minutes just so I could get some feedback from low handicappers (one being our club champion). Both men agreed that the Renegar seemed more forgiving and easy to hit. My only real knock is the sound which is more muted than some wedges. I don’t get the true “ting” when I hit a shot super pure. It’s not making a gross thud sound but you’re not gonna get a pure ring of “that was perfect” either. This opinion was also shared by my buddies.
As I mentioned, I really like the fact that the Renegar tries to not look significantly different than my irons. The fact that they are a dullish finish helps to also make them blend in with the pack. Still, upon closer inspection, the “R” logo” on the back is fairly bad-ass for those who like a little bling on the wedge. Well, bling is probably not the right word. The vibe I get is almost midieval since the “R” is outlined with some Knight like castle.
The final piece of the wedge puzzle is the shaft and grip. Now I am not going to even pretend to understand how the shaft factors into the performance of the wedge but clearly Renegar thinks it is super important. The stock KBS shaft are used precisely to compliment the short game. What I do understand are the two markings on the grip which are very useful in adjusting for distance control chocking up to the lower dot should take off about 5 yards from the distance so you can theoretically dial in your shots even more.
Despite the fact that Renegar has been making clubs for 20 years and can boast wins on the PGA Tour, the name remains far under most people’s radar. With that said, I love the fact that they do one thing…wedges. I have always believed in specializing and when a company can set its focus on just making the best wedges without being distracted by drivers, putters, or even apparel, you know you are getting their full attention.
Renegar offers 8 different lofts between 46 and 60 degrees. All clubs can be purchased directly from the Renegar website.